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19 May 2014

ONS: Quarter Of Britons Had No Pension Savings In 2010/2012

According to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), just over one in three Britons aged over 16 saved into a private pension between 2010 and 2012. Alarmingly, figures showed that about a quarter of adults had no pension savings at all, while close to two in three did not actively save.

While some of the data in the ONS´ Wealth and Assets Survey gives a snapshot of the average Briton, it also reveals quite significant gaps in pension savings among genders, wealth and public vs private sectors. For example, the survey found that pension saving was more common among men, with 37% of them putting money aside for retirement, compared to 31% of women.

The gap was much more significant when comparing pension saving rates in the public and private sectors. The ONS found that as many as 85% of those employed in the public sector were part of an occupational pension scheme, whereas just 40% of those working in the private sector belonged to such a scheme. The amount of money saved by public sector workers was almost double in comparison to the average savings that public sector employees have so far accumulated - £42,600 vs £24,000.

Between 2010 and 2012, total private pension savings in the UK came in at £3.59 trillion, compared to £3.46 trillion in 2008/2010, but these figures are not adjusted according to inflation, the ONS said. Almost half of this wealth was distributed among the top 10% of households, while the bottom 50% had just 8% of the total. There is a still some way to go before all savers get the pensions they deserve.

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